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The Sussex County Board of County Commissioners has dedicated $2 million of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support local small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are working to overcome financial challenges caused by the pandemic.

The Sussex County Small Business Grant Program provides up to $15,000 in financial support to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits. The online grant application portal is now open at Grants will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

To qualify, a business must have been legally established in Sussex County since Jan. 1, 2019, and its annual revenue must be less than $4 million.  It must also have had 50 or fewer full-time employees as of March 3, 2021.

The costs to be reimbursed by the grants must have been incurred on or after March 3, 2021, and the applicant must have experienced a documented decline in sales or an increase in expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible business include agriculture, forestry fishing and hunting; construction and contracting; finance and insurance; nonprofits; professional scientific and technical services; retail shops, markets and stores; restaurants and food service businesses; real estate businesses and more.

Federal funding for the small business grants was made possible by the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress in 2021.